black·​en | \ ˈbla-kən How to pronounce blacken (audio) \
blackened; blackening\ ˈblak-​niŋ How to pronounce blackening (audio) , ˈbla-​kə-​ \

Definition of blacken

intransitive verb

: to become dark or black the sky blackens

transitive verb

1 : to make black
2 : defame, sully blackened her reputation

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Other Words from blacken

blackener \ ˈblak-​nər How to pronounce blackener (audio) , ˈbla-​kə-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for blacken



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Examples of blacken in a Sentence

Fire had blackened the field. The sky blackened as the storm approached. Their false accusations failed to blacken my reputation. a presidency blackened by scandal
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Recent Examples on the Web Pythium root rot – Wilted and stunted growth are the initial symptoms of pythium root rot, followed by blackening and rotting of the roots. oregonlive, "Oozing sap may discolor maple bark: Ask an expert," 26 Apr. 2020 In one case sits a tiny figure of the three wise see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-speak-no-evil monkeys, blackened by the fires. Motoko Rich, New York Times, "The Man Who Won’t Let the World Forget the Firebombing of Tokyo," 9 Mar. 2020 Over time, however, its beauty can become blackened with tarnish. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Clean Tarnished Brass," 20 Jan. 2020 The CB Ranch was surrounded by fire, the air so blackened with smoke flames couldn't even be seen. Kathleen Wilson, USA TODAY, "Horse owners scramble to evacuate their animals ahead of California fire," 30 Oct. 2019 The fire on Kahoolawe island in Maui County had blackened 4 square miles as of Sunday, The Maui News reports. USA TODAY, "Pancake race, a ballooning problem, Lincoln’s hearse: News from around our 50 states," 27 Feb. 2020 The organization's yard was filled with a large inflatable display showing a blackened and burnt Trump figure pulling a tree figure away from their family. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "'Demanding freedom': Community groups protest at Trump campaign rally," 19 Feb. 2020 Australian wildfires that have razed thousands of homes and blackened an area about the size of England may also create the nation’s first climate refugees. Time, "Australia's Bushfires May Create the Nation’s First Climate Refugees," 24 Jan. 2020 Elsewhere in New South Wales, Silva and Doyle found large, dead fish that appeared to have asphyxiated, their gills blackened and clogged with ash. Adam Welz, Wired, "Fallout from Australia’s Huge Wildfires Is Choking Rivers," 21 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blacken.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of blacken

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for blacken

Time Traveler

The first known use of blacken was in the 14th century

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Statistics for blacken

Last Updated

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Blacken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce blacken (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of blacken

: to make something dark or black or to become dark or black
: to hurt the reputation of (someone or something)


black·​en | \ ˈbla-kən How to pronounce blacken (audio) \
blackened; blackening

Kids Definition of blacken

1 : to make or become dark or black The storm blackened the sky.
2 : spoil entry 1 sense 2 The scandal will blacken his reputation.

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More from Merriam-Webster on blacken

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blacken

Spanish Central: Translation of blacken

Nglish: Translation of blacken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blacken for Arabic Speakers

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